He’s Not a Scientist, Man

GOP darling Marco Rubio has changed his mind on the whole how-old-is-the-earth debate. Or has he?

RUBIO: There is no scientific debate on the age of the earth. I mean, it’s established pretty definitively, it’s at least 4.5 billion years old. I was referring to a theological debate, which is a pretty health debate. And the theological debate is … how do you reconcile with what science has definitively established with what you may think your faith teaches. Now for me, actually, when it comes to the age of the earth, there is no conflict. I believe that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And I think that scientific advances have given us insight into when he did it and how he did it, but I still believe God did it…. I just think in America we should have the freedom to teach our children whatever it is we believe. And that means teaching them science, they have to know the science, but also parents have the right to teach them the theology and to reconcile the two things.

But I thought he wasn’t a scientist, man.

There’s just enough vagueness contained in Rubio’s about-face on the age of the earth to entertain the idea that he still believes in creationism and that the earth is 6,000 years old, leaving himself room for plausible deniability.

Creationism aside, Rubio may have stepped in another pile of dung today when he declared that homosexuality is a sin.

ALLEN: Is homosexuality a sin?

RUBIO: Well, I can tell you what faith teaches and faith teaches that it is. And that’s what the Bible teaches and that’s what faith teaches. But it also teaches that there area bunch of other sins that are no less. For example, it teaches that lying is a sin. It teaches that disrespecting your parents is a sin. It teaches that stealing is a sin. It teaches that coveting your neighbor and what your neighbor has is a sin. So there isn’t a person in this room that isn’t guilty of sin. So, I don’t go around pointing fingers in that regard. I’m responsible for my salvation and I’m responsible for my family’s, and for inculcating in my family what our faith teaches, and they’ll become adults and decide how they want to apply that in life. As a policy maker, I could just tell you that I’m informed by my faith. And my faith informs me in who I am as a person — but not as a way to pass judgment on people.

If your faith informs you as a lawmaker, that means you will either support or oppose legislation based on your faith. And if your faith says homosexuality is a sin, then you will oppose legislation that provides equal rights and opportunity to members of the LGBT community. That necessarily means you will be passing judgment on them.

Rubio is not as slick as he thinks he is, and all of this will be used against him without regard for his fickle tip-toeing.

(via ThinkProgress)

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  • bphoon

    How Romneyesque.

  • muselet

    … [O]n Wednesday Rubio walked back his remarks, telling Politico’s Mike Allen that he could have given a “better answer, a more succinct answer.”

    Translation: Marco Rubio’s staff informed him that his previous answer was likely to scuttle his ambitions.

    There is no scientific debate on the age of the earth. I mean, it’s established pretty definitively, it’s at least 4.5 billion years old.

    Translation: Marco Rubio’s staff informed him that his previous answer was likely to scuttle his ambitions.

    I was referring to a theological debate, which is a pretty health debate.

    Translation: Marco Rubio’s staff informed him that his previous answer was likely to scuttle his ambitions.

    He’ll still be a rock star inside the GOP, but nobody—not even the creationists—will trust him after this embarrassing episode.

    –alopecia

  • http://phydeauxpseaks.blogspot.com Bob Rutledge

    Looks to me like he also came out against teaching Intelinside Design (or whatever the fuck they’re calling Creationism now) with this bit:

    I just think in America we should have the freedom to teach our children whatever it is we believe. And that means teaching them science, they have to know the science, but also parents have the right to teach them the theology and to reconcile the two things.

    Since the vast majority of parents don’t know science, he must mean that part belongs to the schools.

    And, he’s absolutely correct, and I don’t think anyone is suggesting laws stating otherwise, that American parents do have the right to teach their children whatever goofy shit they want to in the privacy of their own homes. Be it that some old bearded white dude [glances at Disqus Avatar] created the Universe as it exists today in a mere 144 hours, or that Steven Spielberg’s first directorial turn was the Apollo missions for NASA, or even that the Flying Spaghetti Monster holds us all in His Noodly Appendages. (DSS also has the right to remove the children from the home if they’re being taught totally kooky shit)

  • Ipecac

    Sin is an evil, evil concept.

    • KABoink_after_wingnut_hacker

      Indeed it is and it is an essential ingredient for all cult leaders to manage others by guilt.

  • http://doran.pacifist.net/ Doran

    Perhaps someone should ask him how long he thinks human civilization has existed, because science has something to say about that. Also, his faith teaches that the Earth was created in six days. Does he believe that?

  • trgahan

    Reminds me of 2008-2009 when the GOP scrambled to find SOMEONE in their ranks that could match Obama’s appeal and appear to be political equal. We laughed as they brought many a high level republican and watched each fall flat the instant the spotlight hit them.

  • D_C_Wilson
    I just think in America we should have the freedom to teach our children whatever it is we believe. And that means teaching them science, they have to know the science, but also parents have the right to teach them the theology and to reconcile the two things.

    Somewhere off to the side, Romney-Wan Kenobi was remarking, “You can learned well, my young Padawan.”

    That’s an amazing bit of weasel-worded nonsense there. It can be interpreted as endorsing the teaching of both science and creationism.

  • Christine Mitchell

    “And if your faith says homosexuality is a sin, then you will oppose legislation that provides equal rights and opportunity to members of the LGBT community. That necessarily means you will be passing judgment on them.”

    This is not necessarily how it works. For example, if my faith tells me that I can’t eat pork (and it doesn’t), I won’t eat pork. That doesn’t mean I’m going to outlaw pork for everyone else. Now some ultra-orthodox people may want to ban pork, but I think many believers do not foist their beliefs on to the public (unless they are far-right Republicans).

    I for one value very highly the separation of church and state, and the civil rights of each individual. I’m a Christian and I think gay marriage is a matter of civil rights, not a matter of what I may or may not think about it. I have a very strong faith in God but it does not dictate my civil or social responsibilities to my fellow man. What it does inspire in me is to practice my faith toward my fellow man in love, not dictate to him.

    Rubio is not necessarily talking out of both sides of his mouth or trying to be duplicitous. He might be, but it’s too early to tell. I think Republicans are looking for someone like him who will declare he’s a Christian but make the case for not being a wingnut Christian. And who cares what his private beliefs are as long as he understands and performs his civic responsibilities under the law and legislates for civil rights instead of against it? He won’t make the far right happy but then again, nothing does.

    • http://doran.pacifist.net/ Doran

      Indeed, there need to be more attention on differentiating between exercising one’s religious belief and forcing others to exercise one’s religious beliefs. Currently these are often conflated, especially in the media, right-wing and otherwise.

      A perfect example is how the Catholic Bishops, and others of their ilk, are screaming bloody murder over Obamacare and its insurance requirements. The refrain is that Obama is taking away their religious freedom. But of course that’s not the case. It’s that they want to impose their own religious values onto their employees. Nobody is forcing employees to get abortions. Obamacare just says health insurance should make that available if the employee, acting on their own set of values, decides to do so. It increases religious freedom by allowing the employee, rather than their employer, to decide on such a personal matter.

  • mrbrink

    “Rubio is not as slick as he thinks he is.”

    Word.